Re ECF Project: ECF 2016-69

Project Title: Hong Kong mangroves: where are they now?

Applicant: Dr. Stefano CANNICCI, The Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong

Total Approved Grant: $2,394,740

Duration: 1/6/2017 to 31/5/2019

Project Status/Remarks: On-going

Scope:
Although AFCD conducts monitoring programmes in selected mangrove areas of Hong Kong, almost 20 years have passed since the last extensive survey on mangrove biodiversity, carried out by Tam and Wong from 1994 to 1996. There is, therefore, an urgent need for a comprehensive updating and strengthening of our knowledge of the faunal diversity and ecological patterns of change which have occurred in these last two decades. This update is necessary in the light of both the new advances in taxonomic techniques, which are leading to the discovery of a great number of cryptic species previously unknown in this area, and the purported changes in the ecological status of Hong Kong’s mangroves due to anthropogenic and climatic impacts in these last 20 years. With this background, the project aims to carry out an extensive two-year survey on the diversity and abundance of mangroves trees, crustacean decapods, bivalves, gastropods and insects (with particular focus on Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera and Lampyridae) within the mangroves of Hong Kong SAR. The end results will be presented by:

1. a novel and updated database of true mangrove tree diversity in Hong Kong (to be uploaded into the Mangrove Reference Database and Herbarium website);

2. a reference collection of all faunal species found (to be maintained in the developing Biodiversity Centres of both SWIMS and SBS, HKU);

3. the barcoding of all the marine species found in Hong Kong mangroves and the maintenance of a DNA database;

4. subsequent updating of the newly launched Hong Kong Register of Marine Species (HKRMS), founded by SWIMS and funded by ECF

5. and ultimately the incorporation of this information into a marine GIS system for Hong Kong marine habitats which is being planned as a collaboration between SWIMS and AFCD.

6. All these results will be of paramount importance to inform future conservation and management practices aimed to conserve and rehabilitate this fragile but yet critical coastal ecosystem for Hong Kong.

All these results will be of paramount importance to inform future conservation and management practices aimed to conserve and rehabilitate this fragile but yet critical coastal ecosystem for Hong Kong.

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes:
To be available upon completion of the project


 
s